Three subterranean termite species, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), R. tibialis Banks, and R. virginicus Banks, from Northern Indiana were studied under laboratory conditions to determine foraging behavior and soil moisture preferences. A linear configuration dish assay was set up to observe movement through various moisture levels of a 1:1 sand:vermiculite substrate. The linear assay also allowed for the most favorable moisture level for feeding to be determined. Different preferences for both harborage and feeding were observed for each species during week long trials.
Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes flavipes (eastern subterranean termite)
Species 2: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes tibialis
Species 3: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes virginicus
Keywords: foraging ecology, subterranean termites
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